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Nail Polish Swatches Treatments, Base Coats, and Top Coats

My nail polish collection is large. Polishes kept in good condition (away from heat or light) can last a long time, longer than the two years many people quote. A good thinner (I use Seche Vite) can also revive them. I have tossed polishes when thinner cannot save them or they have obviously gone bad, but it is rare. When I started collecting polishes again, I tossed all polishes older than the summer of 2013. To avoid ordering duplicates, I created a spreadsheet. Swatching them with these spoons I purchased from Amazon will help me compare the colors, finishes, and overall quality. All polishes only have one coat, because I wanted to spot the difference between my sheer and opaque polishes. We’ve all seen polishes that look dark in the bottle only to need 3-4 coats for opaqueness. No polishes have base or top coats either, because that can change the way the polish looks.

This will cover: treatments, base coats, and top coats. Tinted Topcoats are only posted in the article covering the color of the tint. Every time I get a new treatment, base coat, or top coat, I will edit this to add the new one in. Of course, the polish will also be featured in the article reviewing the purchase. If you’d like to see any of my other nail polish colors, I also have articles for Corals & Oranges, Yellows & Golds, Browns & Blacks, Blues, Greens, Beiges & Nudes, Coppers and Bronzes, Reds, Sheers & Whites, Salmon & Wines, Purples, Grays & Silvers, and Pinks.

I photographed the treatments, base coats, and top coats in order from lightest to darkest and used a flash. Of course, the second picture starts with the darker treatments, base coats, and top coats that did not fit in the first picture. The flash is wonderful at picking up detail and finish. The individual pictures below use natural daylight for a more exact color. When I add new polishes, I will not take group pictures again, but I will place the new individual picture in order of where it lies within the shade meaning every article will have the lightest shade first and the darkest last.

I know this is an odd series, because most people do not photograph these polishes. However, some are glossy. Others are matter. Some have tints. Most are clear. It is nice to see what they look like, because they can change the look of your polish. A glossy top coat can make a matte polish look glossy. A colored base coat can make a slight change in the polish color, etc.

Nail Polish Swatches base coats, top coats, and treatments

Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat is a completely clear, semi glossy top coat. It is smooth.

Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat

Seche Vite Top Coat is a completely clear, semi matte top coat. It is smooth. This polish is thick and gloopy, so it may be near the end of its life. I applied a third treatment of Seche Vite Restorer, but it is not helping much. See this featured in a manicure.

Seche Vite Top Coat

Formula X Nail Foil Base Coat is a completely clear, semi matte top coat. This polish plays nicely with foil based polishes. It is smooth.

Formula X Nail Foil Base Coat

OPI Lay Down That Base is a completely clear, semi matte base coat. It is smooth. See this polish in a manicure.

OPI Lay Down That Base

Julep Oxygen Top Coat is a most clear (with a slight hint of a very sheer white), semi matte top coat. It is smooth. See this featured in a manicure.

Julep Oxygen Top Coat

Sinful Shine Top Coat is a cloudy, sheer, semi matte top coat. It is paired with the Sinful Shine polishes to give a glossy effect, but this is far from the glossiest top coat I have. If I am going for a glossy look, I would use another polish. This is smooth.

SInful Shine Top Coat

Ciate Glitter Grip is a mostly clear base coat. It is designed to adhere to glitter. This is semi matte and smooth.

Ciate Glitter Grip

Orly Color Amp’d Seal Coat is a mostly clear, semi matte top coat. It is smooth.

Orly Color Amp'd Seal Coat

Formula X Top Coat is a clear, semi glossy top coat. The finish is smooth. See this featured in a manicure.

Formula X Top Coat

Julep Fast Dry Top Coat is a mostly clear, semi matte top coat. It does dry faster than most, so it is true to its name. This is smooth.

Julep Fast Dry Top Coat

Julep Be Strong is a mostly clear, semi matte nail treatment. It is smooth.

Julep Be Strong

Julep Oxygen Bonding Base Coat is a clear, matte base coat. The finish is matte and smooth. See this featured in a pedicure.

Julep Oxygen Bonding Base Coat

Sally Hansen big matte Top Coat is a sheer, white, matte top coat. It is smooth. See this polish in a manicure.

Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat

Butter London Horse Power is a mostly clear nail strengthener. It is semi matte and smooth.

Butter London Horse Power

Seche Vite Base Coat is a mostly clear base coat. It is semi matte and smooth. See this featured in a manicure.

Seche Vite Base Coat

Ulta Pro Nails of Steel is a mostly clear nail strengthener. It is semi matte and smooth.

Ulta Pro Nails of Steel

MAC Pearl Highlight has a very slight, sheer, iridescent sheen. It subtly transforms shades. This is best used as a top coat. It is semi matte and smooth. See this featured in a manicure.

MAC Pearl Highlight

The darker base coats, top coats, and nail treatments are below.

Nail Polish Swatches base coats, top coats, and treatments 2

Julep Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat is a very sheer, white base coat. The finish is matte and smooth. See this featured in a manicure.

Julep Oxygen Bonding Base Coat

Julep Silk Effect Top Coat is a very sheer, white top coat. The finish is matte and mostly smooth. A smooth top coat would be needed to smooth this out, but that would eliminate the silk effect this gives. See this featured in a pedicure.

Julep Silk Effect Top Coat

Formula X Base Coat is a sheer, pink base coat. The finish is semi matte and smooth.

Formula X Base Coat

Pink Gel Coat Nail Strengthener and Brightener is a very sheer pink. The pink almost disappears on the nails. It is semi matte and smooth. See this polish in a manicure.

Pink Gel Coat Nail Stregthener and Brightener

Formula X Sheer Strength is a very sheer pink nail strengthener. The pink does not completely disappear in this. It is semi matte and smooth.

Formula X Sheer Strength

Julep Brighter is Better is a sheer, purple nail strengthener. It is semi matte and smooth.

Julep Brighter is Better

Julep Tyra is a sheer, pink metamorphosis top coat. She is a glittery, semi glossy, and mostly smooth. A smooth top coat is needed to make this completely smooth. Although that could change the look a bit, it will still have the pink tint with this. See this featured in a manicure.

Julep Tyra

Julep Bjork is a sheer, blue metamorphosis top coat. She is a glittery, semi glossy, and mostly smooth. A smooth top coat is needed to make this completely smooth. Although that could change the look a bit, it will still have the blue tint with this. See this featured in a manicure.

Julep Bjork

Julep Tilda is a sheer, green metamorphosis top coat. She is a glittery, semi glossy, and mostly smooth. A smooth top coat is needed to make this completely smooth. Although that could change the look a bit, it will still have the green tint with this. See this featured in a manicure.

Julep Tilda

Julep Melody is a clear top coat with blue and silver glitter. The finish is semi matte and a little rough. It would take a smooth top coat (or two layers even) to smooth this out.

Julep Melody

Ulta Pro Get a Grip is a sheer, white base coat. It is matte and smooth.

Ulta Pro Get a Grip

Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment Sheer Ivory is a sheer ivory nail strengthener. It is semi matte and smooth.

Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment Sheer Ivory

Pink is a sheer pink nail strengthener. It is semi matte and smooth.

Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment Sheer Pink

OPI I Can Teal You Like Me is a sheer, teal top coat. It should give a bluish green tint to any polish it applies over. The finish is semi glossy and smooth.

OPI I Can Teal You Like Me

Butter London Nail Foundation is a priming base coat. It is beige, matte, and smooth. See this featured in a manicure.

Butter London Nail Foundation

See all nail polish articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.

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